If you’re an entrepreneur who is still making the transition from a 9-5 job to being a full time entrepreneur, you have to be very careful who you surround yourself with, and this is why…
When a young man or woman joins the armed forces, the first thing the military does is put them in a controlled environment (Boot Camp).
If you’ve ever had a friend or family member ship off to bootcamp, you can notice the clear distinction between who they went away as, and the more well-rounded, disciplined member of the armed forces they became.
How does this apply to entrepreneurship?
Our Environment Molds Who We Are
They say that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Human beings are like a sponge. We absorb, and are shaped by the people we surround ourself with, and the information that enters our senses.
When I was a 9-5 employee, I was surrounded my other 9-5 employees and we would do things like go out to the bars and clubs on the weekends, relax after work, and we never spent time building a better future for ourselves.
When I surrounded myself with the people I’ve always hung out with in the past, I continued to be like them.
Whenever I chose to stay at home to work on my business, I was met with resistance from my friends and family. They said I was wasting my time, I wasn’t living life, and one of my friends said she was about to schedule an intervention, because she thought something was wrong with me.
Who are they to even know what it takes to build a business? They’ve never done it before.
I spent 18 months straight working nights and weekends trying to build an internet business and the more I resisted them, the more they tried to pull me into their lifestyle.
It was difficult at first, but eventually I met two other aspiring entrepreneurs, and we moved into a condo in Scottsdale, Arizona. Within the first six months, the three of our businesses have grossed over $125,000 in revenue. I quit my job and my app company now has 932,000 downloads. One of my old roommates is now making $50,000 per month, sold his first business at the age of 29, and has been traveling the world ever since.
How did we do it? The first step is a controlled environment. We called it Project Scottsdale, after the book The Game By Neil Strauss. They rented out a mansion in Hollywood called Project Hollywood, and transformed into some of the most successful pickup artists in the world.
Our goal was to be some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, so the name was fitting.
Step 1 – The Mastermind
The first thing we did was form a mastermind group with the three of us, plus one other entrepreneur. Every Sunday night, we would go out to a nice place to have dinner, set accountability goals for the next week, and keep each other on track.
While most of our 9-5 friends pressured us to go out and do immediately gratifying things, the bond we formed together kept us on track with this new way of life that we were entering. When I listened to my 9-5 friends, I lived a life like my 9-5 friends. A life of mediocrity.
Before you can make room for the new, you must leave the old behind.
It’s hard to leave a lot of your old life behind at first, but when you surround yourself with likeminded people, the transition becomes a lot easier.
Step 2 – The Mentor
In 2013, we went to a conference where we met a man who sold his first company for $50 million, raised $90 million in capital over the years, and his current business was making $12 million per year.
This was our first official mentor.
If you want to be successful in entrepreneurship, the first step is to surround yourself with others who are on the same journey as you (the mastermind), and then once you have that accountability and motivation going forward, you want to find people who are already living the type of life you want to live.
Your mentors walked this journey before you. They can help you avoid the common pitfalls and roadblocks and guide you on the right direction. While my 9-5 friends still said I was wasting my time, I was less susceptible to their influence. I had my mastermind to keep me on track and do the hard work that will pay off in the long run. And I had the mentor who assured me that I’m on the right path, and the actions I’m taking now will pay off in the long run.
He taught us the stops needed to build a business, because he has done it before.
Surround yourself with people who are living the life you want to live.
Step 3 – Cut Out All Distractions
The view from our third story balcony surpassed the view of any high-end beach resort. Year-round sunny skies, a pool with a waterfall, an outdoor bar with HD TVs, and a volleyball court filled with beautiful women in bikinis.
Ok…maybe some distractions are good for a group of money-hungry, single, 27-year-old guys.
But inside our apartment was a different story.
- Instead of a TV, we put up a whiteboard on the wall for business planning.
- We had no couches, and instead turned the living room into our work stations, with our desks and video recording equipment there.
- We got rid of all books that were not business or marketing related.
- We cut off access to all distracting websites, and unfollowed people who posted useless content on social media.
When we began to control the information that entered our senses, we began to notice a slow shift of who we became.
By surrounding ourselves with other entrepreneurs, seeking out mentors who are living the life we want to live, and most importantly, cutting off access to any negative information from entering our senses…by the end of the six months, all three of us transformed from 9-5 employees, to successful entrepreneurs.
They say it’s not what we get, it’s who we become. Just like our cavemen ancestors who needed to blend into their environment to avoid being seen and eaten by wild animals, we still have that psychological trait today.
When you surround yourself with the type of people you want to be like, you naturally, and automatically become one of them…because we want to blend in.
Who are you surrounding yourself with?
After my first business, A Dog’s Best Friend Magazine began making $10,000 per month regardless if I worked on it or not, I began to travel and live a life of passive income.
On the next leg of my journey, I began studying meditation, zen philosophy, and personal development. According to a lot of personal development circles, they say that, below our organs, tissues, and atoms, our body is made up of energy.
Imagine living in a quantum energy field where everything is energy.
- The books you read are energy, entering your (human) being.
- The people you are around are energy, entering your being.
- The media you consume is energy, entering your being.
The energy you surround yourself with comes into your senses and transforms who you are. According to this quantum physics perspective, everything is microscopic energy, and that energy transforms who you are.
I don’t know if that’s what is going on or not, but by having the visual to go along with the principles I learned from controlling my environment, I learned that, just like the military basic training, when you control your environment, who you surround yourself with, and the media you consume…you become the average of the five people and the media you surround yourself with.
How can you begin surrounding yourself with who you want to become, today?